Scripture: Isaiah 38 & 39
I. You trust God alone in both personal crisis and national crisis
A. The personal crisis for King Hezekiah is that he is going to die (vs. 1). He was one of the best kings in the nation of Judah’s history. 2 Chronicles 29:2: “And (Hezekiah) did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, according to all that David his father had done.” He prayed for God to heal him because of his faithfulness to God (vs. 3). God says in vs. 5: “I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Behold, I will add fifteen years to your life.”
B. About a year after Hezekiah was healed from this sickness, he would be tested by the crisis in Isaiah 36 and 37 when the Assyrians surrounded Jerusalem to attack it and destroy it. God delivered Jerusalem and Hezekiah from the mighty Assyrians (Isa. 37:36). He had promised such a deliverance in Isa. 38:6. If you are going through a crisis of faith, God will not waste it. He will use this crisis to prepare you for an even bigger crisis of faith which He did for Hezekiah.
II. You trust God alone by thanksgiving for answered prayer
A. After he was recovered from his illness, we see that Hezekiah wrote a prayer of thanksgiving to God (vs. 9). Praise and thanksgiving are always the correct response to the blessings of God and answered prayer. When you thank God, you are saying that you trusted Him to hear and answer your prayer. Thanking Him for answering your prayer brings glory to God.
B. God answered Hezekiah’s prayer because God had made a promise to Hezekiah’s ancestor David (vs. 5) The promise to David is found in 2 Samuel 7:12-13: “When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.”
III. You trust God alone by elevating faith over pride
A. Hezekiah is flattered that the mighty Babylonians have come to ask little old Judah for its help in overthrowing the Assyrians (Isa. 39:1-2). His pride caused him to show all of Jerusalem’s treasures to the Babylonians (vs. 2). Isaiah said to Hezekiah in Isa. 39:6, “If you love Babylon so much, you will be glad to know that everything you take such pride in will one day be moving to Babylon!” Pride had replaced humility for Hezekiah, self-satisfaction replaced concern for others (Isa. 38:9), and trust in Babylon had replaced trust in the living God who had promised to protect His people. We need more faith in God than faith in self.
The gift that God most wants from you is your trust in Him and Him alone to save you.
Commentaries by J.A. Motyer, Derek Thomas, Bob Fyall, David Jackman & Tim Chester
Sermon Discussion Questions
1) What is central to your prayer life? Do you pray the promises of God back to Him, and do you thank Him when He answers your prayers?
2) Have you experienced how the passing of one test from God enables you to pass the next test He sends your way? How does that increase your faith?
3) How does Hezekiah’s failure of pride in Isaiah 39 help us see that we need a better king to save us? What are some ways that Jesus is a better king than Hezekiah?